Hans Teeuwen (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/TEDxAmsterdam) - Source: Hans Teeuwen (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/TEDxAmsterdam) at
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - 15:21
Dutch comedian: “Freedom of expression no longer exists”
"We need to have the courage to admit that freedom of expression no longer exists", according to comedian Hans Teeuwen. The 48 year old comedian and singer said this in an interview with the AD about his new Dutch-language album Popstukken. This album does not contain any of the abrasive opinions on Islam, Islamic State or Muslim terror that the comedian is known for. Teeuwen told the newspaper that the fact that he is now a father and no longer only has himself to care for did play a role in why he decided to leave his opinions about Islam out of the new album. "But in a sense I have been keeping track of what I say since the beginning of the violence, before the murder of Theo van Gogh author Salman Rushdie was already threatened. That feeling has become stronger in recent years", he said. "You know that the artist who pours pig's blood over a Koran, in a cartoon or in a joke, has a big problem. It is important to admit that the fear is there. There are also people who, in reactions, downplay the importance of free speech. That is much worse. Then the influence of terror extends so far that we really start thinking differently." So Teeuwen decided to keep the very offensive parts of his opinions to himself. "The risk of accidents has grown too large. We just have to dare to establish that we have lost the real freedom of speech. Like filmmakers had to censor work in dictatorships, we must now invent creative ways to say what we consider important without getting ourselves shot and killed. And about such a hilarious song or comedy number, I now worry myself silly." The CD Popstukken by Hans Teeuwen & The Painkillers will be presented at a free concert in VondelCS in Amsterdam on Sunday, August 30th at 2:00 p.m.